Vladimir Putin has met Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for talks anticipated to concentrate on Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and which are being rumoured to incorporate Kremlin efforts to bypass western sanctions.
Putin welcomed the Turkish president to Sochi, a resort metropolis on the Black Sea, by thanking him for his assist in securing a global deal that resumed exports of grain from Ukraine that had been disrupted by the Kremlin conflict machine – in addition to Russian foodstuffs and fertilisers – to world markets.
The deal ended a standoff that had threatened a world meals disaster, as Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s largest exporters of grain. One other three ships carrying nearly 60,000 tonnes of grain between them departed Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Friday and are on their technique to Britain, Eire and Turkey respectively.
“It is a very urgent downside for a lot of international locations, in the beginning, the creating ones which are on the point of large issues with meals and fertiliser provide. The choices made along with your direct participation are essential for all these international locations,” Putin instructed Erdoğan as their closed-door conferences started.
However studies have warned that the assembly might serve an ulterior motive. A Ukrainian authorities report described by the Washington Put up stated Putin would search Russian stakes in Turkish oil refineries, terminals and reservoirs as a way to assist disguise the origin of Russian oil exports forward of a deliberate EU oil embargo. The newspaper additionally reported that Russia might search correspondent accounts for giant Russian banks to bypass monetary sanctions.
The Russian authorities didn’t affirm the report and there was no indication that Turkey would entertain the proposals, which might put the Nato member at appreciable threat of secondary sanctions.
No less than publicly, financial cooperation led the agenda on the talks. Putin famous that the TurkStream pipeline had continued working “easily … in distinction to each different route supplying our hydrocarbons”. Erdoğan introduced up plans for a nuclear energy plant to be constructed with Russian assist.
However the tensions between the 2 international locations and their leaders stay appreciable. Turkey is a member of Nato, has bought superior weaponry resembling Bayraktar drones to Ukraine, and is at odds with Russia over the way forward for Syria, the place the Kremlin has backed Bashar al-Assad whereas Turkey has sought to achieve affect within the nation’s north.
There have been different indications that the 2 leaders deliberate to debate extra than simply their financial agenda. Earlier than the assembly started, Russian journalists famous that Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen chief who has despatched forces underneath his command to each Syria and Ukraine, was in attendance.
The 2 males are anticipated to talk behind closed doorways over a late lunch. They don’t seem to be anticipated to provide a joint assertion following the summit. The Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak is predicted to handle the press after the summit.
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